The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has implemented new guidelines that a woman candidate who has been pregnant for more than three months would be regarded as “temporarily unsuitable” and will be able to join the bank within four months after delivery. Some people have reacted negatively to the proposal.
The policy will be effective from the date of approval, December 21, 2021. The revised standards in respect of promotion will be applicable with effect from April 1, 2022.
Previously, women applicants who were up to 6 months pregnant could join the bank under certain conditions. The criteria include obtaining a certificate from a specialist gynecologist stating that working for the bank at that time would neither interfere with her pregnancy or the proper development of the baby nor will it lead her to terminate the pregnancy or otherwise harm her health. Some people, including bank employees, have expressed their displeasure with the amended guidelines.
The CPI has written to the Finance Minister, requesting that the SBI’s medical fitness circular related to the recruitment of pregnant women be withdrawn immediately. SBI did not immediately respond to an email asking for feedback on the instructions. The proposed amendment is unlawful because it treats pregnancy like an illness or handicap, which discriminates against women.